Ellenbecker held on bail prior to new trial


MASON CITY, Iowa – In a decision by District Judge DeDra Schroeder, Thaddeus Ellenbecker will have the opportunity to be a free man, once bail is paid.

Back in 2012, Ellenbecker was found guilty of setting the Forest City Police Department on fire and burglarizing a squad car, but with a retrial on the way, he may be on his way out on bail.

Rather than being let go from custody on his own, Judge Schroeder issued bond to be paid.

In May, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation agents did not follow procedures in reading Ellenbecker his Miranda Rights before he allegedly confessed to the crime.

In today’s hearing, he requested to be released since previously paying bond to the tune of $20,000.

The defense stated that due to his good behavior and close proximity to family in the area, Ellenbecker should not be considered a flight risk, and should instead be given time to make up for lost wages while he was in jail.

“The conditions for the court to consider for the defendant includes conditions that will reasonably assure that the defendants appearance and safety of other persons will be protected,” said Defense Attorney, Tim Lapointe of Mason City.

Ellenbecker will now be held on $6,000 bond.

$3,000 for both counts he faces, which include second-degree arson and second-degree burglary.

According to Ellenbecker’s attorney, this is the maximum he can afford since paying his original bond amount.

“The defendant has consistently maintained his innocence. The exception is only due to an alleged confession that was alleged by the defense to be coerced. The Iowa Court of Appeals has said that this confession can not stand,” said Lapointe.

Ellenbecker says if he does get out of jail, he plans to stay with family and work in the Rochester area.

His next court appearance may be the pre-trial hearing which is scheduled for Sept. 2.

The trial is set for Sept. 17. where he will face the same charges as before, with the same judge.

The previous conviction brought about a sentence of 10 years behind bars for each count.

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